Editor’s note: During Advent, Father Ken Kirkman will be offering weekly reflections at thecatholicsun.com to help us all prepare our hearts and minds during this season of anticipation and hope. This is the third reflection in the series. Read the first here and the second here.

This is a time of year when light is in short supply. In our diocese, we are keenly aware of the changing of seasons, how late the sun rises (when it rises) and how early it sets. But meteorological darkness is probably not the only one weighing on our minds. As I write this, an attempted bombing has occurred in New York City. And we have only to remember five years back to the horrible events at Sandy Hook Elementary. As the light of the world wanes, we can often dwell on the sadness and tragedy of life.

Yet in the words of the Gospel, we are beginning to hear stirrings of something new. This man, John the Baptist, has come to testify to the light. Isn’t that often the thing we need most? We have all experienced loss and feel it even more strongly this time of year. But John’s testimony is that light is breaking in to this world, and that light never goes out. The light which Christ brings is strong enough to scatter all darkness. So if you have been feeling low, if you are walking the path of grief or loneliness, know that the Light of Christ is shining for you too. The winter will end, the sun will rise, and the Sun of Justice will dispel the darkness.

Father Kirkman serves as parochial vicar of St. Mary and St. Anthony of Padua in Cortland.

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